Indonesia to begin human trials of Chinese coronavirus vaccine

Indonesia initiated clinical trials on Tuesday of a Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine, with some 1,600 volunteers expected to participate in the six-month test. The vaccine candidate, developed by Sinovac Biotech, is among only a few in the world to reach clinical trials in phase 3, or large-scale human research — the final stage before regulatory approval.

The drug, known as CoronaVac, has already been tested on 9,000 health workers in Brazil, the second-hardest-hit country after the United States in the coronavirus pandemic. Indonesia, the fourth most populous nation in the world, has struggled to control its mounting cases of viruses, with more than 1,27,000 confirmed infections and more than 5,700 deaths.

West Java, Indonesia’s most populous province governor, was among 1,620 volunteers expected to participate in clinical training, expected to be completed in February. If the vaccine proves safe and successful, Indonesian officials said, preparations were being made to manufacture up to 250 million doses for the nearly 270 million sprawling archipelago, although they provided few specifics of the tentative roll-out